Worship June 19, 2022
Scripture: Matthew 4:18-22 NRSV
Sermon Series: Encountering Jesus
Sermon: A Supportive Father
The Bible instructs all of us to do and be our best in everything God calls us to be. We don't know much about James and John's father, but one encounter with Jesus leads us to believe that being supportive seemed to be one of his greatest strengths.
First, I want to tell you how excited I am to be reappointed as your Senior Pastor for a 7th year together. We have been through some ups and downs together and I can see a wonderful path God has set for us going forward. I am honored and overjoyed to serve and worship with such an awesome and amazing church.
 
Second - Happy Father’s Day! This Sunday we honor and celebrate all the great fathers in the world, and we remember those fathers and Godly men from our past who have gone on to glory. I have been blessed by my own father in so many ways through my 56 years of life and probably the biggest blessing has been how supportive he has been of me through the years. I’ve thought a lot about that this week while preparing for Sunday’s sermon. I’ll be preaching from Matthew 4:18-22 about a supportive father most of us have heard of or read about – Zebedee. We don’t know much about him, but it is easy for me to see that he was a supportive father for sure. All of us, regardless of your gender or age or if you are a parent or not, have a great opportunity to encourage others and be supportive of one another. As Christians we are called to be like Christ and to love others as He has loved us. Think about those who have encouraged and supported you throughout your life. For many of us that list includes our fathers. I thank God for my dad and for all the Godly men He has put in my life to encourage and support and point me in the direction of Jesus, and I pray that I also am encouraging and supporting others in the same way.
 
Third - Remember, God loves you and so do I.  

Pastor Eddie
Annual Conference 2022 (And beyond) Update

For the first time since 2019 our North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church held their Annual Conference in person June 1-4 at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga. Our church was well-represented with Pastor Juan and myself, our two lay delegates (Mickey Stanfield and Danny Gaetan), as well as two at-large delegates (Janet Sligar and Gwenda Booth). Registration, as well as different gatherings and meetings, began Wednesday afternoon. The Clergy Executive Session was held Thursday morning and the official start and Call to Order happened Thursday afternoon. During the following two days many reports were given and different ministry areas were shared and celebrated, as well as different resolutions being voted on, by over 1500 clergy and laity. The theme for the Conference was A Place for You at The Table and five values to live by as Christian Methodists were shared throughout the three days. The values were integrity, courage, inclusion, connection, and transformation. Here are a few additional highlights:
·         30 Clergy retired
·         13 Elders and 5 Deacons were ordained
·         7 Churches in the North GA Conference were closed (One of which I served in the Griffin area 14 years ago)
·         Rev. Dr. Byron Thomas, currently serving as one of our District Superintendents, was affirmed as an Episcopal nominee making him eligible to be appointed as a future Bishop.
·         Pastor Juan and I have been reappointed as your pastors for another year. This will be Juan’s 6th and my 7th year here at NFUMC.
·         May 31 – June 3, 2023 will be the next Annual Conference, once again held in Athens
 
A potentially tense moment was when discussion about and vote was taken for the 70 churches seeking disaffiliation from the United Methodist denomination. I was relieved that no negative discussion took place. The Bishop offered a well-thought-out prayer for those churches and congregations.
 
I was able to speak to several pastors who are exactly where we are as a UM Church as they too were waiting and watching to see how the process was handled this year. I am convinced more than ever that we are on the best path toward disaffiliation before next year’s Annual Conference. My intentions are to have our Administrative Council vote at the next meeting (late summer 2022) on moving forward with officially disaffiliating from the United Methodist denomination over scriptural authority and sanctity issues and joining the newly formed Global Methodist Church. If our Administrative Council agrees, then we will schedule a called Charge Conference with our District Superintendent either by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023 for him to preside over our church vote for disaffiliation. ALL members of NFUMC will be invited to attend that Charge Conference and only those members physically in attendance will be allowed to vote. A 2/3rds vote must be achieved in order for the disaffiliation paperwork to be properly presented to our Conference. At the next scheduled Annual Conference, May 31-June 3, 2023, our church will be voted on by the delegation of our Conference to be fully disaffiliated. Much work is still to be done before all of that happens, but I am certain of my convictions and believe this is the best path for us as God’s church moving forward.
 
Please feel free to contact me about this if you have any questions or comments or concerns and please, PLEASE join me in continuing to pray for God’s will to be done as we continue to be a missional church for Jesus Christ. It is an honor and true blessing to be reappointed as your Senior Pastor for our 7th year together, and I am so excited about all that God is doing for, with, and through us as we worship and serve together.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Eddie
Book lovers and Bible Study leaders: FREE Books available!
We are cleaning out our Christian Education extra unused resources and want to offer them to the congregation. Stop by the book cart in the Narthex and chose any resources that are of interest to you.
Questions? Contact Robert Viera, Family Ministry Director, robert@norcrossfirst.org or 770-448-4142 x 118.
FREE Movie Night
Wednesday, June 29th from 6 - 8pm
Family Life Center
for children K – 8th grade and their families!
The "No-Tones"
This 6 week study is offered to non-musicians and beginning musicians of all ages who wish to learn the basics of reading music, understanding the hymnal, the basics of singing, and generally what all those "dots and squiggles" in music really mean.  No participant will be asked to sing alone. The "No-Tones" will meet in the choir room on the following dates at 7:00pm: 
June 29
July 6
July 13 
July 20 
July 27 
August 3
The "Ding-a-Lings"
This 6 week session will introduce its participants to both the basics of reading music in addition to the very basics of ringing handchimes and english handbells.  Those who participate will have hands-on experience ringing chimes and bells as they learn the fundamentals of music from the ground level.  By the end of the summer session the new ringers will have learned and performed two bell songs for their friends and family.  No participant will be asked to perform alone. The "Ding-a-Lings" will begin on Thursday June 30th in the bell room at 6:00pm.  
June 30
July 7
July 14
July 21
July 28
August 4
Help our Brothers and Sisters in Ukraine!
Gifts to support humanitarian needs for those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries can be made through UMCOR international disaster response.
Preschool Registration is open for 2022-23 School Year!
Tell your friends, families, neighbors, co-workers... Whoever has preschool aged children! Norcross First's Preschool is registering for the 2022-2023 school year!
Email preschool@norcrossfirst.org to register!
We are also hiring Preschool teachers for the fall!
If you have a heart for little ones, this job is for you!
NORCROSS FIRST UMC PRESCHOOL hours are Monday-Friday 9:30 - 1:30.
We generally follow the Gwinnett County School calendar, Sept-May.
Email preschool@norcrossfirst.org to inquire!
Adult Sunday School Offerings
WEEKDAY DAYTIME BIBLE STUDY GROUPS

JOY has concluded their current study and will take a break until August 3.
Watch for more information on the next study topic. Enjoy a safe and happy summer break!
Contact Bobbye Raye Kennison for more information.
Weekly Men’s Study

The Men's Bible Study is taking a break from the weekly study schedule. We anticipate resuming our weekly study schedule at Berkeley Hills CC on August 4.

Contact Tom Waits – waitsengrg@charter.net - for more information.
There is Power in Prayer!
We want to pray for you and your concerns and needs, and invite you to pray as well! If you would like to receive a weekly prayer list, or be included in the prayer email chain, please email prayers@norcrossfirst.org 
These requests can be private, shared only with the Pastor/staff, or public, shared with pray-ers within our congregation.
Articles and Announcements
Submission of articles and announcements for the weekly newsletter and bulletin must be received by Noon Monday weekly. Email Andie Ashe: communications@norcrossfirst.org
Contact Nancy Garrison in the Church Office with financial inquiries– 
nancy@norcrossfirst.org or 770-448-4142 x114
CCLI – 1909848 and CVLI - 504373851